Interview with Maria Coppola

Tuesday, August 20, 2013, 10:02

Maria 37,   has played football for a long time even when she  was a toddler , she was always kicking out at things. If you ask her, she will tell you that her family used to  take her to a football pitch and just let her play. she was six then.  At the time 25 years a go, there were no football nurseries or academies for children in Malta.  and  it was almost unheard of for a woman to play  football…….. she recalls.  When she was 14 she started going to trade school and found time during her lunch breaks to play football. she found acceptance difficult at first – the boys were scandalised  when she initially showed an inclination to join them in the game; but when on trial they found out that she was pretty good, they accepted her. She became regular feature in their matches.

 This gave the necessary muscle and staying power for a full-blown game.  By the time she was 15 she was playing five -a-side football with the all women Rabat Ajax and at 16 she joined Hamrun, then the Lija team when it was establish the first time by the Malta football Association won the league 1994/1995.  She had a good kick and the necessary stamina.  Enough of it, in fact, to impress an american coach who sought her out after seeing her play in women s football league.   Maria was thrilled. She saw doors opening for her, and a career in football in United States.
So, from 5-a-side with Lija team, she found herself playing 11-a-side in U.S.A. The difference was as wide as the ocean she crossed and it took time to adjust, but she soon settled down and started  displaying  her skills. Her team was from Oklahoma, It was good time for women s footballers in United States  - in 1996 the US women s football team won gold  at the olympics.
Maria was not alone in her single – minded determination to play football. she found unending encouragement from her mother and father.  1996/97  1998 she was hugely successful with her oklahoma team in U.S.A.   At 25 age ,  in the year 2000, maria return to malta and played with Melita she joined,   also was taken on by the malta national team when the first time was establish during 2003 women national team in Malta.   After that another opprotunity knocked to play in France,   played  there for 3 years.   it was very successufull, also womens football in france is a very popular and high level.
 But tragedy was after maria fell sick and was admitted to hospital in paris where she was found to be suffering from meningities this was the end of her career  during 2005.  However maria can look back with satisfaction on considerable achievements. A maltese woman footballer, sought after first by football authorities in US, playing  there for several years, then playing with maltese national team,  then in france  for several years  to top all that being voted best performance in 1998 in U.S.  and top scorer.   After 5 years not playing football  then join  imgarr womens team winning the leauge promoted to division 1 in the year   2012.  After that she retired to start focusing on coaching………..and higher more girls playing football now a days womens football is growing….in Europe.

However at this moment I am coaching zejtun corintians boys under 15 and under 13 to continue develop my coaching experience……

In the past I coached luxol, balzan, b kara, and last year with floriana…..worked with the youngsters…under 8 under 6





2 Comments

  1. Buffon says:

    Very bright carrer…well done and may all footballers in Malta look at you as a true example…even those who think they are something big!!

    [Reply]

  2. coach says:

    Hdimt al ftit gimat ma Maria ! coach ta veru , persuna posittiva hafna u brava immens!!

    [Reply]

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